We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more

Audio & Recording

Best Drum Mic

There’s many ways to approach micing up your drum kit with many different mics available to choose to from. When recording drums there’s a few things you need to consider, especially what kind of drum sound you’re going for.  Answering this question is imperative to choosing the right path towards the right drum mic. Do you want an open, airy-sounding Jazz kit, a tight and aggressive Rock kit or a big and smooth RNB kit?  These lists compile the best drum mics out there thanks to their versatility, durability, affordability based upon audio engineering standards and of course their ability to produce a sound you’ll be happy with.

Take a few minutes to read through all the specifics for these drum mics as they’re all different, each with their own unique perks. Every new mic you haven’t heard before is another potential path towards tones you couldn't achieve in the past.  Drum mics are one of the many ways audio engineers are able to get creative so take some time and explore these best drum mic lists.

Audix DP7 7 Drum Microphone Package

For those who love the Audix sound, the DP7 drum mic kit offers all you’ll need in capturing the various sounds that the overall kit produces. A D6 cardioid mic is included for the kick drum; this mic has been designed to sound good in any position, so you won’t have to worry about looking for the sweet spot. A cardioid i5 is there for the snare, and its SPL handling of 140dB ensures that your drum will never be hitting too loud to be properly handled by this mic. A pair of D2 mics are there for the toms, and they offer a natural warmth that produces an accurate sound from these percussive elements. A D4 is provided for the floor tom; its flat, linear response is great for the low-end sound that this instrument produces. An ADX51 condenser microphone is made for the overhead use, offering a smooth response and wide frequency range. The DP7 package also comes with a road case and DVice clips to easily position the mics where you see fit.

Samson 7kit 7-Piece Drum Microphone Set

Those who are familiar with the level of professional sound quality that Samson brings to the table with their products will be excited to learn about the company’s 7Kit drum mic kit. This package includes a QKick mic for the bass drum, a QSnare mic for the snare, and three separate QTom mics for the toms. Each mic has been carefully calibrated to bring the best out of its specific component. A matched pair of C02 pencil condenser mics can be used to capture the overheads/cymbals. All of these microphones also come equipped with mounting systems to make it quick and easy to affix them to their corresponding drums.

Dynamic Drum Microphone Pack

Telefunken’s DD4 drum mic kit is perfect for studio or live environments, and is comprised by a relatively pared-down setup when compared to other similar mic kits. A M82 single dynamic microphone is in place to capture your kick, and is boosted by a switchable EQ filter and a separate switchable high boost function to provide four distinct sounds. Meanwhile, a M80-SH provides a condenser-like performance for the snare. A pair of M81-SH microphones offer a flat frequency response that are great for use with the toms. This collection also comes equipped with drum mounts for each mic, as well as four XLR mic cables with right-angle female connectors that makes maneuvering around the kit that much easier. A durable hardshell flight case gives you a safe and easy way to travel around with the DD4 gear.

High Definition Drum 3 Microphone Recording DrumKit System

Earthworks proclaims their DK25/R DrumKit System as a method to return to the classic sounds of drum recording, offering a sound that is the antithesis to sterile and disconnected-sounding drums that often occur from ill-advised drum miking techniques of the modern era. This package includes two TC25 omni-directional microphones for overheads and an SR25 cardioid mic for the kick drum. The included KickPad offers an enhancement for that kick drum recording, acting as the middle man between the mic and the instrument itself while providing a sweetened EQ. The KickPad can also be used with other instruments as well, so they recommend experimenting with other components of the drum kit or even other instruments in general. A pristine cherry wood carrying case and patented windscreen provide even more enhancement to the overall package, building on top of the superb frequency response and fast diaphragm setting time that all of these microphones provide.

Sennheiser DRUMKIT600 Drum Microphone Package

The Sennheiser e600 Drum Pack provides you with all that you need to mic up your drum kit, utilizing the superb microphones that the company has built its reputation off of. An e604 cardioid dynamic mic is in place to handle the kick. Four e604 cardioid dynamic microphones are there for your tom/snare needs and these microphones come with pivoted mounts that can attach either to mic stands or to the rim of the drum itself. A pair of e614 supercardioid condenser microphones handle the overheads/cymbals/hats; these are designed to provide optimal isolation of the sounds and prevent against unwanted bleed-through. The whole Drum Pack is easily contained in a custom slim-line aluminum case with die-cut foam, providing protection on the inside and outside.

Audio Technica AE2500 Dynamic Microphone

The Audio Technica AE2500 is a microphone that endears itself to recording kick drums, for some obvious reasons. Firstly, this unit comes with an 80Hz low cut filter built into the condenser component of the microphone, which is ideal for capturing the frequencies that the kick drum makes.This unit also doubles as a dynamic microphone as well. The elements in this device are positioned so as to create a perfect phase relationship, a feat that is nearly impossible if you were to try to replicate that with two separate microphones. These two entities work hand-in-hand in capturing the sound of a kick drum; the dynamic aspect picks up the aggressive attack of the beater, while the condenser component grabs the rounder tones that emanate from the shell. The microphone’s diaphragm is tensioned and aged to promote long-term consistency and stability, which is pretty important considering it’s placed in front of a piece of a drum kit that is getting hit with energy and aplomb.

Audix D6 Cardioid Kick Drum Microphone

Audix’s D6 microphone has been specially tuned for the types of frequencies associated with kick drums. Though it’s a cardioid microphone, it is actually able to capture a great sound no matter where it is placed in the vicinity of the kick drum. This is an ideal set of circumstances for those who tire of having to search for the “sweet spot” in order to get a great sound. The unit’s VLM diaphragm helps the D6 respond quickly to transients. This results in a kick drum sound that has a full-powered attack, which makes for an overall harder-hitting sound.

Shure Beta 52A Instrument and Bass Drum Microphone

Shure’s Beta 52A provides a frequency response that is perfect for bass instruments with a 20Hz to 10kHz frequency response, making it ideal for kick drums. This mic also provides a presence boost at 4kHz that allows the kick to really cut through the mix, which is essential for both studio and live performance scenarios. The Beta’s supercardioid pickup pattern promotes an increased proximity effect, meaning you can play around with the position of the mic to the kick drum to customize the sound that you’re looking for. Because of this microphone’s rugged build, it’s a device that you will never hesitate to bring on the road with you; so take it to that next gig, set it up in front of your kick, and get ready to shake the room with your footwork.

AKG Pro Audio D12VR Dynamic Kick Microphone for Drums

The AKG D12 VR is a dynamic microphone that is great for capturing kick drum sounds, whether it be in the recording studio or during an onstage performance. You’re getting three filter curves included in this unit: a low-frequency booster, a midrange cut, and a third option that combines the first two filters while also adding a clarity-enforcing presence boost. The D12 VR also employs a C414 transformer to bring additional richness to the high-quality signals that this mic processes. The D12 VR’s thin diaphragm and bass-optimized capsule chamber also help to harness the huge bass tones that come from a kick drum.

Miktek PM11

The Miktek PM11 provides engineers with a faithful reproduction of the natural sound of the kick drum. This supercardioid dynamic microphone offers a clear sounding response of the bass frequencies that this instrument produces. This raw sound gives the producer the ability to tweak the natural tone of the kick on their end, rather than having to compensate for any transgressions that occur within the mic itself. A high SPL capability insures that you’ll be able to handle the loud outputs typically associated with kick drums; that means that this mic handles well in controlled environments like the recording studio, as well as in live performance settings where the energy operates at a whole different level.

Shure SM81 Instrument Microphone

Shure’s SM81 offers a flat response curve that gives a very accurate reproduction of whatever sound it captures, and most will agree that this is a great tool for use with cymbals. This response can be modified via a selectable low-frequency response switch, giving you options for 6 or 18dB/octave rolloff. An onboard switchable -10dB pad gives you further flexibility in how this mic can operate within your setup. The SM81’s rugged build makes it ideal for taking on the road or using in the studio. And because cymbals are not often delicate sound-producing instruments, the SM81 comes equipped with a 136dB handling (146dB when the pad is active).

Sennheiser E614 Super-Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The Sennheiser e614 condenser microphone features a supercardioid design that makes it a precise tool for use with cymbals and overall drum overhead duties. It offers high SPL handling, which is great for an instrument like the cymbal which typically operates at loud velocities. The mic’s medium sensitivity allows it to capture great sound but also shuts out any of the bleed-through that can occur from closely adjacent instruments on the drum kit. It offers a very flat response and has a frequency range of 40Hz to 20kHz, so you can really get an accurate sounding cymbal performance. The e614 also comes with a mic clip and carrying pouch, making it great for travel as well as home recording. Additionally, this unit also comes with a 10-year warranty.

Rode NT5 Condenser Microphones Pair

The Rode NT5 is sometimes referred to as a pencil mic, due to its small diaphragm size. Unlike most pencils, though, you can count on holding onto this microphone for a long time, as it's used in even high-end studios; a great feat considering its affordable price tag. Despite the NT5’s small size, it is capable of capturing a wider frequency response than larger diaphragm condenser microphones, and can handle up to 143dB so you never have to worry about those crashing cymbals overloading the circuitry. The NT5 also features a custom wind shield and stand mount to provide optimal performance and usability. While the mic is available as a single unit, it can also be offered as part of a certified match pair, giving you a wider net of audio fidelity to cast over your cymbals and drum kit.

Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones

Amassing a collection of microphones that you can count on when recording your drum kit can be an expensive task, so when a quality product at an affordable price comes along, it’s worth taking note. Enter the Samson C02s, a pair of stereo supercardioid small diaphragm condenser microphones that are super budget-friendly and offer an amazing sound for miking up cymbals. These microphones have an SPL handling of 134dB, so they are perfectly equipped to capture the thrashing sounds of your cymbals. The pickup pattern of these units rejects feedback, and their frequency range (50Hz-20kHz) ensure that you’ll always be getting the full sound your instrument produces. These microphones also come with a carry case and shock-mounted mic clips, so they are easy to travel with and hook up to your setup on the fly.

AKG PERCEPTION 170 Professional Instrumental Microphone

AKG’s P170 microphone is a small diaphragm condenser cardioid unit that is great for cymbals, percussion, strings, and more. Despite its low price, it still offers the same AKG sound quality that professionals have come to expect from the company. With a switchable 20dB preattenuation pad and SPL handling of 135 dB, this unit can easily handle the loud dynamics of cymbals. Because it's priced so affordably, this microphone is also great for those looking to get a pair of the same unit for full coverage on their kit. Its durable design makes it a road-friendly microphone that you never have to worry about during the rugged conditions that tend to come as part of the package with drummers.

Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM57 microphone is great for capturing the sound of multiple instruments, not the least of which is the snare drum. Because it – like all Shure microphones – is built like a tank, you won’t experience any anxiety in putting this mic in the precarious position right next to where the drum stick smacks down on the instrument. The SM57 offers a high maximum SPL, so it can handle loud volumes without drifting into unwanted distortion. Its tight cardioid pattern also gives you a direct signal without allowing bleed-through from other instruments to seep into the mix. This is important especially on a drum kit, where you have so many other components so closely located to one another.

Neumann KM184 MT Cardioid Microphone

The Neumann KM184-MT may come off as a little deceiving, considering it’s just a small-diaphragm condenser microphone. But make no mistake, this device is built to handle the extreme power that the snare drum naturally produces. Its overload capacity extends out to 138dB SPL before creeping into the red. Its transformless microphone circuit offers a clean and direct sound, with smooth frequency curves. Best of all, if you’re looking for a mic that can wear multiple hats in the studio or onstage, the KM184 is a great choice. In addition to superbly handling the sound of the snare, it can also be used to record percussion, cymbals, brass instruments, acoustic guitars, and more.

Miktek PM10 Microphone

Miktek’s PM10 snare drum mic is one tough cookie. It has a high SPL capability, meaning that you’ll be able to really hit the snare without driving the microphone into distortion. Its steel grill and die-cast body have been put into place so that you’ll never feel any anxiety about bringing this device out on the road. The PM10’s supercardioid build allows for a full frequency response that is perfectly aligned with the full sound of the snare drum. The mic’s capsule also features a unique labyrinth design that offers rear rejection and maximum gain before feedback, which results in a snare sound that cuts through the mix but still maintains its sonic integrity.

Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

Snare drums require a little bit more from the microphones that capture their sound. They need to sound great, of course, but they also need to be able to handle the high intensity volume that makes a snare drum sound the way that it naturally does. To that end, Sennheiser’s e604 dynamic cardioid mic has what it takes to handle everything a snare can throw at it. This device can take on 160dB of SPL, meaning that you’ll never have to worry about your levels drifting into the red. An advanced shock mount helps to reduce any unwanted handling noise. And the rugged build of this mic ensures that you won’t have to worry about being delicate with the e604. This mic also comes with a drum clip for easy application to your kit.

Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

When you’re in a quick fix and need a microphone that can seamlessly handle the type of loud attack of a snare drum, look no further than the Beyerdynamic TG D58c. Featuring a patented microphone clamp, this device can easily be affixed to your snare drum, but also works well with other percussion instruments as well as tom drums. The folks at Beyerdynamic based this mic around their esteemed Opus 88 microphone, but the benefits to the newer model make it a definitive must-have. For one, it can handle high volumes without going into distortion. The unit also features an improved signal-to-noise ratio. All of this amounts to a microphone that is deftly designed to handle the high-intensity crack of the snare drum.

Audix f2 Dynamic Hypercardioid Instrument Microphone

Whether you’re looking for a tom microphone for use in the studio or onstage, Audix’s f2 is an ideal tool to get the job done. This dynamic hypercardioid mic may be small, but it can handle a great amount of attack and velocity, as evidenced by its 139dB SPL handling. Its low mass diaphragm can handle all of the punchiness that the toms produce, and still provide an accurate, natural sounding response. This mic is also great for isolation and controlling feedback, so you don’t have to worry about bleed-through or other unwanted sounds creeping into your mix. The f2’s rugged build also makes it great for taking on the road.

Sennheiser e604 Mic Dynamic

Snare drums require a little bit more from the microphones that capture their sound. They need to sound great, of course, but they also need to be able to handle the high intensity volume that makes a snare drum sound the way that it naturally does. To that end, Sennheiser’s e604 dynamic cardioid mic has what it takes to handle everything a snare can throw at it. This device can take on 160dB of SPL, meaning that you’ll never have to worry about your levels drifting into the red. An advanced shock mount helps to reduce any unwanted handling noise. And the rugged build of this mic ensures that you won’t have to worry about being delicate with the e604. This mic also comes with a drum clip for easy application to your kit.

Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

The Shure SM57 microphone is great for capturing the sound of multiple instruments, not the least of which is the snare drum. Because it – like all Shure microphones – is built like a tank, you won’t experience any anxiety in putting this mic in the precarious position right next to where the drum stick smacks down on the instrument. The SM57 offers a high maximum SPL, so it can handle loud volumes without drifting into unwanted distortion. Its tight cardioid pattern also gives you a direct signal without allowing bleed-through from other instruments to seep into the mix. This is important especially on a drum kit, where you have so many other components so closely located to one another.

Miktek PM10 Microphone

Miktek’s PM10 snare drum mic is one tough cookie. It has a high SPL capability, meaning that you’ll be able to really hit the snare without driving the microphone into distortion. Its steel grill and die-cast body have been put into place so that you’ll never feel any anxiety about bringing this device out on the road. The PM10’s supercardioid build allows for a full frequency response that is perfectly aligned with the full sound of the snare drum. The mic’s capsule also features a unique labyrinth design that offers rear rejection and maximum gain before feedback, which results in a snare sound that cuts through the mix but still maintains its sonic integrity.

Beyerdynamic TG-D58C Condenser Clip-On Cardioid Microphone

When you’re in a quick fix and need a microphone that can seamlessly handle the type of loud attack of a snare drum, look no further than the Beyerdynamic TG D58c. Featuring a patented microphone clamp, this device can easily be affixed to your snare drum, but also works well with other percussion instruments as well as tom drums. The folks at Beyerdynamic based this mic around their esteemed Opus 88 microphone, but the benefits to the newer model make it a definitive must-have. For one, it can handle high volumes without going into distortion. The unit also features an improved signal-to-noise ratio. All of this amounts to a microphone that is deftly designed to handle the high-intensity crack of the snare drum.

Sean Kramer
I'm a guitarist/music producer with 18 years of experience playing on-stage, in the studio, and everywhere in between. I have toured and recorded on projects both independent and major, in styles such as rock, pop, funk, hip hop, electronic, and more. My axe of choice is probably always going to be the Fender Stratocaster, but I've been known to pick up other guitars when the music calls for it. I'm a big fan of using a multitude of effects (both hardware and software-driven) to manipulate the sound and atmosphere of an instrument. In addition to playing on records, I have also contributed to the score/soundtrack for shows and spots on MTV and ESPN, as well as for a variety of independent films, web series, and television shows.
Related
Go to top